A Guide to Stage Selection as a Samus Main
Tue 4th Jun 2019 - 7:03pm
Choosing stages as a Samus main comes with a variety of things to keep in mind. Each stage has different qualities that serve to benefit or hurt the tools that Samus has at her disposal. So, understanding these aspects can give you a better handle on which to choose based on their natural advantages and your own style of play.
Battlefield the most straightforward in terms of the stage itself. While on stage, Samus has strong options of how to interact and punish. The side platform heights are perfect for dropping through with projectiles or even to missile camp in order to force their approach. The side platforms are also short enough that standing underneath one, Samus can Up-Tilt through the platform to a character on top.
The top platform height is also ideal for up-throw, down-air punishes on spacies. On a more basic level, having these platforms allows Samus to up-B out of shield to escape pressure and avoid being punished on the way back down.
The size of the stage can also allow for Samus to work in and out of range with up-tilt and forward-tilt pressure without being suffocated for lack of space. Abuse Samus’ crouch-cancel in center stage and punish with down-smash or down-tilt. This also means it is a bit easier to punish your opponent off of these attacks that pop them up.
The ledges and borders of the stage are not as beneficial, however. One of Samus’ biggest strengths comes from her near infinite bomb jumping and grapple recovery options and her weight which allows her to remain alive at very high percentages. Battlefield’s ceiling isn’t the shortest, but it is shorter than other stages and can cut into that ability. The ledges of Battlefield also make it much harder to sweet-spot your grapple recovery, and near impossible to grapple on to part of the stage below the ledge.
Dreamland on the other hand, takes Samus’ survivability and brings it to its fullest potential. With high ceilings, and wider borders as well, Samus can feasibly survive to over 200% for each of her stocks. The sides of Dreamland also provide a bit of space to create a far more forgiving grapple recovery in comparison to Battlefield.
The stage is large and has a lot of space to move around on. Samus can utilize her missiles more effectively at longer ranges where she can’t be punished by her opponent. Samus can be a menacing presence on stage when transition between massive projectile pressure followed by moving in closer to her opponent and crouching, knowing that she can punish effectively with down-smash. The room, even more so than Battlefield, can allow for weaving in and out looking for shield pokes and opportunities to punish mistakes.
The side and top platforms are higher which means that Samus’ up-tilt doesn’t reach the side platforms and tech chasing off of up-throw becomes much harder. Up-B out of shield is still a good option to escape pressure and landing on side platforms.
Fountain of Dreams
Fountain of Dreams combines a lot of different elements of Samus’ strengths to make this an ideal stage. The high ceilings mixed with the ability to grapple recover all the way down the side of the stage, allows for almost guaranteed recovery if there isn’t a kill off the top or a spike. This also benefits Samus’ edge-guarding capabilities. With the assurance of making it back onto the stage, Samus can go deeper with runoff neutral-airs or other aerials.
The stage is smaller in width, and with the constantly moving side platforms, it forces opponents to interact more and this makes Samus’ crouch-cancel more valuable as a tool. This variation in side platform height also allows Samus to utilize both a more aggressive center stage heavy play, and a more defensive play shooting missiles coming down or up from the platforms.
The top platform is short enough to tech-chase the up-throw on spacies and using up-B out of shield is safe most of the time. The side platforms, regardless of their heights, are always in range of the up-tilt. Also, due to the varying height, short hop into down-air can also lead to successful results.
Final Destination is not necessarily a bad stage for Samus, but it negates a few valuable tools at her disposal. The ledges have a tighter range for sweet-spotting the grapple, and the ceiling is a bit shorter than desired.
The lack of platforms however is the main issue. Without platforms, Samus needs to short-hop into missiles and cannot vary height or frequency nearly as much. This also eliminates the ability to fish from below with up-tilts or aerials. The main problem though would be with this leading to the neutralization of the up-B out of shield, which is Samus’ best way to escape pressure considering how much slower her roll is.
The basic benefits of Pokémon Stadium come from two basic things: the ability to missile from and up-tilt the side platform, and most of the transformations will give a chance to charge a full neutral-B if your opponent does not want to interact.
Besides this, the lack of top platform, shallow ceilings, and interaction during the transformations are all negatives. Samus will lose stocks quicker here and the transformations put her at a much larger disadvantage in neutral.
Yoshi’s Story is the smallest stage, and its extremely thin borders and short ceiling eliminate all of the advantages of Samus’ weight and recovery. The chance of the Fly-Guys getting hit by a missile or charge shot instead of your opponent is small, but not insignificant.
The small stage does offer the benefits of more aggressive interactions that can benefit Samus in certain situations along with the same benefits as Battlefield regarding platforms. There is benefit in being to grapple all the way down the side as well which can help get back to ledge against characters with strong edge-guarding tools.
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